Dick Riley, a 1954 Furman graduate, has served as Governor of South Carolina and as U.S. Secretary of Education under President Bill Clinton.

An interview with Riley Institute’s Don Gordon

Since its founding in 1999, The Riley Institute at Furman has worked to get young people engaged in politics, public policy and leadership. The non-partisan institute—named for the former governor of South Carolina and U.S. Secretary of Education, Richard Riley, a 1954 Furman graduate—has South Carolina’s social and economic future at its heart. In January 2014, The Duke Endowment awarded Furman a $1 million grant to help the Institute establish a permanent endowment. Don Gordon, executive director of the Riley Institute, talked about the Institute’s mission in an interview published in The Duke Endowment Newsletter.

Furman's Asian Garden

Fall is in the air and on college campuses

Fall is in the air, and college campuses are often a mainstay of Southern autumns.  But it’s not always just about football. According to Southern Living magazine, there’s more to most campuses than dining halls, dorm rooms and stadiums. In its October issue, the magazine listed five unique campus attractions from around the South.  See why Furman made the list.

Dr. Sean O'Rourke

Fifty years after food stamps

Since President Lyndon Johnson signed the Food Stamp Act into law 50 years ago, it has helped reduce childhood hunger and malnutrition, created a support system for not only the working poor but also seniors and disabled people, and provided many with the reinforcement they needed to attend school and job-training centers. But, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest statistics, 48 million Americans don’t know where their next meal is coming from or how they will pay for it. In an op-ed he co-authored for The Greenville News, Furman communication studies professor Sean O’Rourke examines the problem.


Domestic violence and the man-hater stereotype

As an academic who studies domestic violence, Furman sociology professor Ken Kolb was surprised by the Ray Rice episode. Not because of the gruesome nature of the video allegedly depicting the former Baltimore Ravens star punching his then-fiancee out cold, but because it provoked universal condemnation. But the counterattacks have already begun, and, in an op-ed for TalkingPointsMemo.com, Kolb writes that “nestled quietly in these counter attacks is the ‘man-hater’ stereotype.”

Middle East

The challenges of the Middle East

The crimes of the so-called “Islamic State” (IS) group are abhorrent, and President Barack Obama is correct in labeling the group a “cancer.” But if the U.S. and its allies are to root out this or similar evils and prevent their recurrence, it is important to understand the genesis of the IS and what has facilitated its emergence. In an op-ed for The Greenville News, Furman political science professor Akan Malaci writes that “the larger lesson that can be drawn from the current turmoil is that as Americans we must think about disentangling ourselves from the pursuit of interests that have not and will not serve the American people.”


A victory to smile about

Kelley Hester, head coach of the Lady Paladin golf program, had given Furman something to smile about. In return, she got an ice bath. To mark the beginning of her third year at Furman, Hester got her first team title on Tuesday at the Golfweek Program Challenge, which prompted her team to empty the cooler on her shoulders. The Furman women’s golf team posted a 12-shot victory over defending champion Campbell. Read more in Golfweek.


A new era at Furman

The heavy bookshelves and smoldering cigars are long gone. Visitors entering the president’s office at Furman University today will encounter blush-colored orchids, Impressionist paintings, and a Waterford crystal cross. But the duties for Dr. Elizabeth Davis, Furman’s 12th president, are far more demanding than redecorating an office traditionally held by men. The university’s first female president is charged with redefining the institution’s vision and image in a time of rising costs and increased competition. Read more in Town magazine.


Still beautiful after all these years

Furman University has received yet another accolade for the beauty of its campus. According to “Best College Reviews,” Furman ranked No. 30 among the “100 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America.” To compile the list, nominations were selected based on the schools’ inclusion in dozens of comparable most beautiful lists and a survey of friends and colleagues both in and out of academia. The website said “picturesque natural features such as green spaces, bodies of water and arboretums were the key criteria, as was elegant architecture—and specific buildings and areas were then singled out for their outstanding looks.”


Good news for college graduates

According to a story in The Wall Street Journal, this year’s college graduates are earning more than they expected to in their first jobs out of school. That doesn’t surprise John Barker, Furman’s director of Career Services, who was quoted in the story. While he won’t begin collecting detailed salary data from Furman’s 2014 graduates for another two months, Barker said anecdotal evidence suggests pay is up by about five percent and campus visits by employers increased 20 percent.


The Marathon Man

Bill Pierce, a health sciences professor at Furman, is well known throughout the running world as the co-author of Run Less, Run Faster: Become a Faster, Stronger Runner with the Revolutionary FIRST Training Program, which has become something of a bible for modern runners. He recently took a whirlwind tour of India, where he talked to runners in Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore and New Delhi. A veteran of 39 marathons, Pierce was there to spread the word on importance of staying healthy, fit and of course, on running.His presence in India led to a lot of media coverage about his theories of running, including stories in The Hindu and Live Mint.